Space station has plenty of supplies: NASA

August 24, 2011

The six-member crew aboard the International Space Station has plenty of food and fuel and will not be immediately affected by the crash of a Russian supply ship, NASA said Wednesday.

"We have a very good backload of food, fuel and other consumables on board the ISS after the STS-135 shuttle mission," NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries told AFP.

The loss of Russia's unmanned Progress capsule, which crashed into Siberia after an upper stage launch vehicle failure about five minutes after liftoff, will require some changes to the "overall logistic but it should not have an immediate impact on the crew," he added.

"It's premature to discuss the possibility of reducing the size of the next crew. I don't anticipate that."

The supply ship had been carrying about three tons of supplies toward the orbiting research lab.

The retirement of the US space shuttle program earlier this year has left Russia as the sole nation capable of toting crew to the ISS aboard its Soyuz space capsules.

Cargo missions can also be sent to the ISS on Japan's HTV and Europe's ATV supply ships, and two such missions are scheduled for early next year.

Last month's final mission by the US shuttle Atlantis, known as STS-135, carried up more than five tons of provisions for the outpost.

"STS-135 delivered extra supplies. With those + planned ATV & HTV launches, space station will have enough supplies for all of 2012," the US space agency said in a message on the microblogging site Twitter.

"Our Russian colleagues will assess Progress data & determine root cause. Meanwhile, space station operations will continue normally."

International Space Station program manager Mike Suffredini told a press conference in Houston that the failed mission was carrying "very few one-of-a-kind items."

"We can go several months without a resupply vehicle if that becomes necessary," he said.

"There is an ability to operate station with less than six crew if that becomes necessary," he added. "Operating at a three member crew is something we are familiar with and able to do."

The crew currently aboard the ISS as part of Expedition 28 includes three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese astronaut.

The research outpost is typically staffed by six astronauts or cosmonauts on 180-day stints. The next rotation is scheduled to take place in September.

Explore further: Russian cargo spacecraft nearing ISS

Related Stories

Russian cargo spacecraft nearing ISS

June 17, 2005

MOSCOW, June 17 (UPI) -- A Russian cargo spacecraft has been launched into orbit successfully and will reach the International Space Station Saturday, Russian space officials said.

Russian space cargo vessel heads for ISS

February 3, 2010

A Russian cargo vessel took off Wednesday from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan heading for the International Space Station (ISS), the control centre announced.

Russian cargo ship fails to dock with ISS (Update)

July 2, 2010

An unmanned Russian Progress cargo ship on Friday failed to dock as planned with the International Space Station (ISS) after flying past the facility in a rare mishap, mission control said.

Russian rocket docks with space station

December 17, 2010

A Russian Soyuz space rocket carrying three astronauts on Friday docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia's mission control said.

Russian spaceship crashes back to Earth (Update 3)

August 24, 2011

An unmanned Russian spaceship with tonnes of cargo for the International Space Station crashed into Siberia shortly after blast-off Wednesday in the latest blow to the country's embattled space programme.

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
1 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2011
I think the space station is the best use of the world's space funding. If we can learn to live safely and indefinitely in space, all other destinations become easy targets.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.